DOWNINGTOWN >> Downingtown East entered Thursday night’s home date with West Chester East ranked fourth in the Pa. Prep Live Top 20, staring up at only three Catholic League teams.
From the opening kickoff, the Cougars performed as advertised, dominating West Chester East, 49-7, in a Ches-Mont League National contest at Kottmeyer Stadium.
Downingtown East (3-0 Ches-Mont, 6-0 overall) remained undefeated by rushing the ball for 408 yards and 22 first downs, even though Cougar head coach Mike Matta emptied his bench with four minutes left in the first half.
“We did not lose our focus tonight even though we were ahead by a lot,” Matta said. “I think it depends on how you prepare your team. We got out early and got a lot of guys in the game which is a good thing. And I thought we played pretty well on defense again even though we are a little banged up. We had a linebacker and our strong safety sit out but it gave us a chance to see some other people.”
The Vikings (0-3, 0-6) fumbled on their first offensive play of the game and the Cougars’ Luke Moran fell on the football at the West Chester East 23 yard line. Three running plays later, Tim Aivado rumbled in from eight yards out to make it a 7-0 game after just 56 seconds. It was Aivado’s first of three rushing touchdowns on the game.
With the Cougar defense forcing four Viking punts in the first half, the Cougar offense struck quickly again as Brassir Stocker broke through the line for a 66 yard touchdown run and a 14-0 Cougar lead. Stocker rushed for 100 yards on just five carries. Garvey Jonassaint then finished a five-play, 59-yard drive that only took 59 seconds to make it a 21-0 game. Downingtown East rushed the ball 43 times on the night.
“Against a good team like that you cannot turn the ball over and give them a short field,” West Chester East head coach Scott Stephen said. “But I am so proud of the effort of our guys. They did not quit and we will take these lessons and build on them for the next four weeks.”
West Chester East struck late in the first period as junior quarterback Ryan Cassidy hit Mike Gray for pretty 39 yard catch and run for a score to make it a 21-7 game. Cassidy threw the ball well all night as he garnered 134 yards through the air but the Vikings gained just one yard on the ground agains the stout Cougar defense.
But all the West Chester East touchdown seemed to do was wake the Cougars, as Downingtown East scored 28 points in the next nine minutes with Aivado grabbing two of those touchdowns on runs of four and seven yards. Jonassiant also chipped in with a 59 yard touchdown run and the Cougars had a 49-7 halftime lead and Matta cleared his bench on both sides of the ball.
“We saw on film that they were a pretty good team,” Aivado said. “But, we knew we were bigger and stronger than them up front and we played power football. We wanted to get out early and we did that and put them back on their heels. Now we get ready for next week’s game against West (Downingtown). It is just an honor to play in that game and we are going to go out next week and play power football. It is an exciting week.”
The second half was played under the mercy rule and the Cougars used four different reserve running backs and the entire Downingtown East defense was manned by reserves. Matta took a knee four times late in the game at the Vikings’ nine yard line to keep the score down.
“We did not go for the kill,’ Matta said. “We wanted to win the game, keep everybody healthy and get some guys some playing time.”